you were at E3 last year you'll recall (unless you
blocked it out of your mind) the long line and subsequent
long wait to see the new Nintendo game system the
DS. It was there that I was first introduced to the
unique drawing game, Pac-Pix. It's also at E3 where
I first introduced to the fifteen-dollar burger and
fries lunch. It was a toss up for three days between
starving and going broke. Needless to say I came home
with no money. Belch!
is an excellent concept but it doesn't always work
the way it's intended. Despite some technical glitches
which makes reaching for the high score a lesson in
frustration, Pac-Pix is still a lot of fun.
the stylus you draw icons on the screen which are
brought to life with the purpose of playing a game.
Although I was still unable to find some way to create
a Sea Monkey that would rob a bank for me.
doesn't matter if you can't draw, all you have to
do is draw a circle and some lines. There's a great
sketchbook mode where you can get all the practice
that you need to feel confident with your doodles.
inspires the gameplay and there couldn't be an easier
character to draw than that mouthy, rotund, ghost
muncher himself. The object of the game is to clear
the screen of ghosts by sending Pac-Man in their direction.
The game system recognizes your drawing pattern and
brings the icon to life. You draw the mouth first,
in the direction of the ghosts. Complete the circular
body and if it's drawn correctly Pac-Man will come
to life and chew up all the ghosts in the direction
that his mouth is facing. By drawing horizontal and
vertical lines in his path you can bounce Pac-Man
back and forth in different directions.
later stages you will be able to draw arrows which
will shoot off and release more ghosts. You will also
be able to draw bombs with fuses that can be strategically
placed in areas where you suspect the ghosts will
one big downside to Pac-Pix is that not all drawings
are recognized. Oftentimes you'll have what you consider
to be a perfect rendering only to watch as it lies
there flat and motionless. This can surely cost you
the high score as you're racing against time. Some
of the problem can be attributed to existing, surrounding
graphics which leave you with only a small space where
it can be difficult to draw Pac-Man. Other times it
just fails to recognize the graphics for no apparent
reason. As much as I've practiced in the sketchbook
mode I still have troubles and I've certainly done
my share of drawing over my lifetime so of course
I have to blame the game. It's easier on my ego that
a kind of mini-game you can sketch various unrelated
icons in the sketchpad to be brought to life. Only
those already chosen by the developers can be brought
to life so don't expect to draw a #&*~ and expect
to see it %$#! It's a lot of fun when you do draw
something that is recognized. Although you can't use
it in the main mode it's still a thrill. If this were
developed to include a few hundred icons I could just
play this mode for a few days. Great idea.
you don't like the graphics in this game it's your
own fault. Learn to draw. You also control the gameplay
by virtue of your drawing skills and the directions
that you point them in. You'll hear the familiar arcade
music of Pac-Man as he's brought to life. Overall
the presentation is bright, cheery and fanciful. It
shows the potential of the DS by exploiting its uniqueness,
something that these next-gen console and future next-gen
consoles will not be able to touch. Literally.
a hunger that rivals the great white Jaws and the
sex appeal of a hockey puck, he was busting ghosts
before ghostbusting became chic and ruled the arcade
with his addictive melodies and incredible maze solving
abilities. His name alone will send anybody into a
dizzying spiral of nostalgia. He is Pac-Man, and he
is coming to the Nintendo DS.
Pac-Man's latest rendition, retains the best part
of its arcade parent; diligently eating ghosts. However,
they add a new twist, so that the way you eat the
ghosts is very, very different. This time around,
you control Pac-Man using a stylus, and before you
can get him to move, you have to draw him on the screen.
That's great for the stylus efficient out there, but
a stylus can be difficult to use. That's also great
if you're an artist, I guess for the artistically
challenged a circle with a mouth isn't hard to do.
Once you've drawn your representation of Pac-Man,
assuming you haven't given him three eyes and Hulk
Hogan arms, he goes on his merry way chasing his ghostly
Drawing Pac-Man can give you some advantages. Ghosts
will come in all different sizes, and a smaller Pac-Man
won't be able to fit a big ghost in his mouth. The
bigger you draw Pac-Man, and his ghost chompers, the
more ghosts you can fit in his mouth at one time.
isn't too bright though. He heads in only one direction.
In order to get Pacs to change directions and go after
ghosts, you have to draw a wall for him to bounce
off in the right direction. If you don't want him
to move, you box him in.
The top screen isn't left for just pretty pictures.
No, there will be tunnels where extra lives and points
can be racked up. To get to this area, you must first
devour a key, which will unlock the doors leading
to the top screen, then bounce Pac-Man in the right
direction. In later levels, the top screen will come
heavily into play as those sneaky ghosts make their
way up there. "Pac-Pix" displays some new
features to the Pac-Man world, such as missiles. Yes,
missiles, To get ghosts in those hard to reach places,
you can draw a missile and launch it at the ghosts.
Missiles aren't the only weapons Pac-Man has in his
arsenal. Some stages will have ghosts surrounded by
barriers, and the only way to get through is to blow
them up. This means you draw a bomb to free the ghosts
so you can get them. The bigger the bomb, the bigger
the boom boom.
fighting has also been introduced in this rendition.
So far from what can be seen, the bosses will come
in different shapes and sizes. Part of the strategy
is to draw Pac-Man accordingly, so he can eat the
boss in one feel swoop, or chomp rather.
is shaping up to be an addictive little game. It would
be nice to see a multiplayer feature utilizing the
DS's wireless capabilities, or the original 1980 Pac-Man
theme would be super cool if it were included as well.
The "stylus only" control seems pretty fun
and could provide for some hilarious times, but for
those of us who may be stylus incompetent, we may
just end up sticking it in the electrical socket.
Constant drawing can become tedious and the fun may
die, but I can see hardcore Pac-Man fans picking up
this title. Look for Pac-Man to add the DS to his
crown of jewels in April 2005.